Meet your 2013 Fresno Grizzlies

The Fresno Grizzlies just announced their 2013 opening day roster. Here are the 25 names, by position, and be sure to check Monday’s paper or fresnobee.com later tonight for a more in-depth look.

The Grizzlies begin the 144-game Pacific Coast League season Thursday at Chukchansi Park against the Tacoma Rainiers. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Without further adieu, meet your 2013 Grizzlies:

Catchers: Johnny Monell, Jackson Williams

Infielders: Juan Ciriaco, Carter Jurica, Todd Linden, Juan Perez, Kensuke Tanaka

Outfielders: Gary Brown, Chris Dominguez, Cole Gillespie, Roger Kieschnick, Francisco Peguero

Pitchers: Boof Bonser, Jake Dunning, Steve Edlefsen, Heath Hembree, Chris Heston, Michael Kickham, Andrew Kown,  Mitch Lively, Jean Machi,  Yusmeiro Petit, Ramon Ramirez, Sandy Rosario, Dan Runzler

Fresno Grizzlies’ 2013 roster begins to take shape

The Fresno Grizzlies’ opening day roster won’t be finalized until Tuesday or Wednesday, media relations coordinator Chris Kutz says, but the parent-club San Francisco Giants made some roster moves Saturday that give us a clearer picture.

*** The Giants decided to go with three catchers (Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez, Guillermo Quiroz), so that meant reassigning outfielder Cole Gillespie to Triple-A Fresno. Gillespie joins a crowded outfield expected to include Francisco Peguero, who was optioned earlier in the week, Gary Brown, Roger Kieschnick and Juan Perez.

(That’s five guys for three spots, which means one of those guys may end up elsewhere or someone has to switch positions. Perez was originally drafted a second baseman, so that might be an option.)

*** Nick Noonan got the nod as a utility infielder (congrats to him), but it also leaves the Grizzlies kind of short on the infield. Todd Linden could be back at first base and Ehire Adrianza is a good bet shortstop. Brock Bond would be a natural fit at second base, but he strained a ribcage muscle a couple weeks ago and may not be ready opening day. Third base? We’ll see.

*** With Quiroz in the majors, look for Jackson Williams to be behind the plate most nights. Johnny Monell and Tyler LaTorre are other possibilities.

*** Brett Pill (knee) will begin the season on the disabled list and could rehab with the Grizzlies.

*** Yusmeiro Petit, second in the Pacific Coast League in ERA last season (3.46) cleared waivers and has accepted an assignment to Fresno. Look for him to front a starting rotation that includes prospects Chris Heston and Michael Kickham, up from Double-A Richmond, and perhaps former prospect Boof Bonser.

*** Heath Hembree pitched lights out at the end of spring training. He’ll be at the end of a bullpen that likely includes veterans Ramon Ramirez (who accepted a Triple-A assignment) and Jean Machi, lefty Dan Runzler, sinkerballer Steve Edlefsen and others.

*** Stay tuned for more. Grizzlies manager Bob Mariano, his coaching staff and most of the players are scheduled to fly into Fresno on Monday morning from Arizona.

Fresno Grizzlies getting chance to leave Giant impression

The Fresno Grizzlies’ 2013 season opener is three weeks away — April 4  at Chukchansi Park — making this a good time to check up on how our Boys of Summer are doing in spring training.

With the parent-club San Francisco Giants sending so many players to the World Baseball Classic, more minor -leaguers are getting a chance to show what they can do in Cactus League competition. Through Thursday’s games, seven of the 10 players with the most at-bats (Kensuke Tenaka, Nick Noonan, Cole Gillespie, Francisco Peguero, Roger Kieschnick, Gary Brown and Brett Pill) are thought to be on the bubble between Triple-A and the majors.

Early last week, I made an attempt to predict the Grizzlies’ opening day roster. (The list would look slightly different if I did it today.) Here are some of the latest goings on as the regular reason approaches:

*** Brett Pill is expected to be out three to four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday. Terrible timing for Pill, who is fighting for a roster spot and has nothing left to prove in Triple-A. The timing means Pill could open the season on the disabled list, or in Fresno on a rehab assignment. Pill appeared in 48 games last season for the World Series champs.

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